A+ For Effort NH

Several days before Memorial Day I received an unexpected gift in the old mailbox – from the State of New Hampshire Fish and Game Dept.

For Christmas the wife bought me a fishing license and I wound up on the F&G mailing list it seems.

What a pleasant surprise to find a well made booklet detailing where I could fish in public waters in southwestern NH – map included.

There is an example of what baits to use for fish of several popular species. The fish are pictured with defining characteristics.

If you were not sure how to tie several well tested knots, some directions were included.

Included as well in the booklet are some checklists to keep track of what species you catch. There is even an example of how to rig a worm, bobber, and split shot on a line. It is all kid oriented and parent friendly.

I have no idea what it costs to produce and send something like this but it certainly looks like it is worth the effort.

If I was not one who spent several formative years waist deep, rod and reel in hand, in every river, canal, creek, ocean, pond and lake within traveling distance of a bike or borrowed ride I think I would find this NH Fish and Game booklet very handy and enticing.

I take kids fishing as often as I can and every time I am asked because it is always fun. Last time I went fishing with a youngster it was off of a nearby bridge with a 13 year old family friend, Yasmine, from Belgium. She has gone fishing with me since before she could speak English, which is interesting since she now talks about how much fun it was to fish when she was very small and we could not communicate in detail.

I rigged her up with a Zebco and salmon egg on a small hook and she dropped the line over the side of the bridge while I put a worm on a different pole. (Yasmine had a habit of casting BEFORE you could get the bait all the way on the hook, so it is a defense mechanism to have several poles.)

She hollered that a “frog” was after her hook (frog in Flemish is kikker I found out) but it was in fact a very substantial snapping turtle, (15 lbs probably) coming repeatedly to the surface for the tiny salmon egg.

I quickly caught a minnow with the other pole and tied it, without a hook, to her Zebco set up.

The snapping turtle would grab the minnow and head for the bottom of the stream, bending my fishing partner’s pole over like we were on a deep sea charter. The “battle” went on until there was no minnow left.

I guarantee Yasmine will remember that fishing trip for a long time and it was much more fun that going to Chucky Cheeze’s or some movie.

Kudos to NH F&G for the effort in encouraging youth fishing.